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Quick Takes: Slushy Drinks and Student Loans, $400M in Loans for Black Colleges, Lehigh Vice Provost Arrested, Bomb Threat at Rider, Girls Found to Gain From High School Sports, Fallout From Gift Flap, NCAA Punishes Oklahoma, Cap on Residents' Hours

July 12, 2007
  • With all the scrutiny going on of advisory committees created by some lenders for student-aid officials, ever wonder what they talked about with regard to their meetings? The Austin American-Statesman used open records laws to obtain e-mail from lenders to aid officials at the University of Texas and the results suggest that interest rates and default provisions didn't necessarily hinder enjoyment of meetings at various resorts. The newspaper reported e-mails about "slushy drinks," clam bakes and sun tan lotion.
  • The U.S. Education Department on Wednesday announced low-interest loans of more than $400 million to help four historically black colleges still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The largest loans will go to Xavier and Dillard Universities, which will borrow $165 million and $160 million, respectively, for construction a renovation. A third Louisiana institution, Southern University in New Orleans, will borrow $44 million to build its first dormitory. One Mississippi institution will also receive funds. Tougaloo College will borrow nearly $29 million for renovations and refinancing.
  • Steven J. Devlin, vice provost of institutional research at Lehigh University, was arrested Wednesday on charges of going online to solicit sex with two young girls and their mother, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Lehigh has placed Devlin on administrative leave. Authorities believe that Devlin communicated online from his Lehigh office with an undercover officer posing as the mother of the girls.
  • Rider University, in New Jersey, is asking everyone to stay away from its Lawrenceville campus on July 20 because of a bomb threat. No classes were scheduled for that day.
  • Girls who play sports on a high school team are 41 percent more likely than other girls to later graduate from college, according to new research published in the journal Youth & Society. The study was based on a national database of 5,000 girls in the high school class of 1992. The authors were Mikaela Dufur, a sociology professor at Brigham Young University, and Kelly Troutman, a recent Brigham Young graduate.
  • A major donor to the University of Iowa, who helped solicit a recently aborted $15 million gift for the College of Public Health, has quit a committee charged with raising funds for that college. Faculty members objected to the gift from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield because the college would have been named for the company, which has since withdrawn its offer. Marvin Pomerantz, the major donor, told The Iowa City Press-Citizen that James Merchant, the public health dean, who shared his faculty's concerns, had "embarrassed me and embarrassed the university" with his "terrible insult" over a "magnanimous" gift offer.
  • The University of Oklahoma will lose two football scholarships in each of the 2008-9 and 2009-10 academic years and be forced to vacate its record from the 2005 season as a result of sanctions handed down by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions on Wednesday, which the university said it would appeal. The major violations involved three football players who received payment for work not performed at a nearby car dealership. The benefits totaled roughly $17,000 in unearned wages and amounted to money paid to them by a booster. The committee found that the violations were intentional on the part of the athletes, who were kicked off the team. Oklahoma disagrees with the committee's statement that the university "made several mistakes in a narrow, but significant area" in its failure to monitor the players' employment, and plans to appeal the mandate that its 2005 records be vacated. Oklahoma will have two years of probation added -- now running through 2010 -- to an earlier penalty involving what the committee found was the institution's failure to monitor a men's basketball coach's telephone conversations with prospective athletes.
  • Limits on the hours that medical residents can work appears to be associated with a reduction in hospitals' critical-care mortality rates, according to research published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
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